Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain about widespread outages

A nationwide wireless outage has given Rogers Communications Inc. customers intermittent access to calling and texting services on Monday.

According to experts, power outages have had widespread economic implications across Canada, including affecting business operations, sales, payments and the ability of people to work remotely.

Tyler Chamberlin, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, said: “It can have a huge impact on our economy.”

Wireless operators across the country said in a Twitter post that they are working swiftly to restore affected services as soon as possible.

Problems have been reported in most major Canadian cities, according to DownDetector, a website that tracks outages.

While ongoing service interruptions appear to be concentrated in southern Ontario, power outage maps suggest that service problems are spreading nationwide from British Columbia to Nova Scotia.

Users say they haven’t been able to send or receive mobile phones or text messages for hours.

Some people complain about social media. They say they rely on wireless services because they work from home under continuous COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re in another big blockade here in Ontario, and economically, it’s far less confusing than blocking people from being digitally connected,” Chamberlin said.

Some emergency services organizations have explained on Twitter that wireless customers can make 911 calls during service interruptions, but cannot receive callbacks.

Winnipeg police said Rogers and Fido’s customers, who are experiencing power outages across Canada, can continue to call 911, but they must not hang up to talk to the operator.

Regional Municipal Police said that if a Rogers customer calls 911, the operator cannot call back and should not hang up.

“We have experienced some 911 drop calls that require follow-up,” Waterloo Regional Police said on Twitter. “If you call 911, don’t hang up. Don’t hang up so you can see if it’s okay.”

Rogers owns a nationwide wireless network that operates under the Rogers, Fido, and Chatr brands.

According to the investors page on the Rogers website, telecommunications companies offer both postpaid and prepaid wireless services to approximately 10.9 million consumers and corporate subscribers in the Canadian wireless market.

Rogers did not immediately respond to the request for more information.